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The secret to being healthy is not really rocket science anymore.  Many of us eat healthy and don’t even realize it.  For example, I am a friend who is a mom to three teenage boys who love to eat.  So when I visit they have a fair amount of junk food in the kitchen cupboards.  Doritos are my weakness.  I could literally sit down, watching Deadliest Catch, and eat an entire bag of Doritos.  Okay the real reason I mentioned this was because it actually happened.  I literally sat down and watched an entire episode of Deadliest Catch and woofed down a bag of Doritos.  

Anyways, I do have a point to my story.  A few days ago I was having a snack attack.  Did I reach for the Doritos?  Nope!  I opened the refrigerator and grabbed a handful of grapes.  I wasn’t even thinking.  I just did it.  

So here are some tips you can do to live longer and healthier.

#1 Exercise- Many of us are so busy in our daily lives that we just can’t find the time to exercise.  But the good news is that you don’t have to spend your entire day working out.  You only need to do some sort of exercise for 30 minutes each day.  Exercising boosts your blood flow, reduces stress and keeps your heart healthy.  So walk, run, dance or swim.

#2 Mental exercises- You not only need to exercise your body but you need to train your brain as well.  Mental exercises include learning a new language, playing a music instrument or doing a crossword puzzle.

#3 Dieting- This may be an obvious one but eating the right foods is extremely important.  Eating foods such as walnuts, strawberries, green tea, spinach and sweet potatoes will also help to fight aging.

#4 Do it naturally- Using flaxseed, fish oil and Omega 3 are healthy for you are also anti-aging products.  Omega-3 fatty acids support the heart, brain, joints and skin.

#5 Walking on sunshine- Being out in the sun is like a breath of fresh air.  Many women actually have a Vitamin-D deficiency.  I went to see my doctor for a checkup.  Lately my bones and muscles hurt.  She did some testing and found out I have a Vitamin-D deficiency.  Since I work at home, I rarely ever go out in the sun.  But since my doctor’s appointment, I try and go out in the sun at least 20 minutes each day.  

#6 Happy hour- No I am not suggesting you head down to your local bar for their 2 for 1 happy hour.  That certainly isn’t the way to get you healthy.  I am talking about hanging out with your friends once in a while.  Being social helps reduce stress.  

#7 Laugh- They say laughter is the best medicine and it is certainly the truth.  Laughing just all around makes you happy.  So watch a funny movie or read a joke book.

#8 Go to sleep later- Studies have shown for years that sleeping more than 8 hours a night can actually lessen your life expectancy.  People that sleep 6-7 hours per night actually live longer.  There seems to be a higher death rate among those who sleep less than 4 hours a night and more than 8 hours.

#9 Don’t live in the city- You will increase your life expectancy if you live out in the country rather than in the city.  It most likely has something to do with country life being less stressful.

#10 Stop smoking- This should be an obvious one but the sooner you stop smoking, the better off you will be.  If you currently do not smoke and have never smoked, you have already significantly reduced your chances of developing lung cancer, heart disease and COPD.  There are more than 120,000 smoking related deaths each year.

#11- Leave your work at work- People that bring their work home with them seem to be more stressed out.  There are a study done at John Hopkins University that showed that in the United States, people who have a great deal of stress in their lives have a 20 time greater risk of getting heart disease.  This is because over time, tension weakens our immune system.  Also, stress takes away antioxidants from our bodies and these antioxidants help stop premature aging.

#12- Adopt a pet- For some reason, pets help us relax and that in turns lowers your blood pressure.  Dogs really are a man’s best friend but even a fish in a bowl is relaxing.

#13- Give up the Big Macs- Here is another obvious one but stay away from that greasy fast food.  All of it is bad for you from the fat to the cholesterol and everything in between.  Cutting your calorie intake, which means cutting out those Big Macs and Whoppers, will help you to feel healthier.

#14- Be spiritual- This does not mean you need to choose a religion if you are not currently religious.  But take some time to meditate, do some soul searching and self reflecting.  Just by having a sense of spiritually goes a long ways.

#15- Floss your teeth- No this is not a misprint.  Flossing your teeth can actually add years on to your life.  It seems that gum conditions such as gingivitis leads to a higher death rate.  The reason is because gum tissues get inflamed and lead to heart disease and stroke.  By flossing on a regular basis, this gets rid of all the bacteria that builds up and leads to inflammation.

#16- Eat more superfoods- Superfoods are known to prevent cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and cholesterol.  Superfoods also help improve teeth, digestion, hair, skin, nails, teeth and bones.  These foods include oranges, salmon, tomatoes, beans, oats, pumpkin, turkey, walnuts and yogurt.

These are 16 simple steps you can take to live a healthier lifestyle.  Start a new journey towards a new you, a new healthier, happier you!